Stocks move higher despite Japan worries

The Dow closes up 60 points. Japanese stocks plunge after the massive earthquake and tsunami. Crude oil drops to $101. Apple rises as iPad 2 sales begin.

By Charley Blaine Mar 11, 2011 2:13PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 8:00 p.m. ET

U.S. stocks moved up today but finished well off their highs. The rally was fueled by gains in energy and metals shares. Investors saw greater demand for building materials and energy as Japan starts to rebuild after today's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Japanese stocks closed sharply lower because of the quake. The Nikkei 225 Index ($JP:N225) fell 1.7% to 10,254. Big companies such as Toyota (TM) and Sony (SNE) shut down factories. Oil refineries shut down.

Asian and European stocks closed lower in response to the Japanese crisis.
The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed up 60 points to 12,044; the blue chips had been up as many as 102 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was up 9 points to 1,304, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) added 15 points to 2,716. Despite today's gains, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended roughly 1% lower for the week, with the Nasdaq off 2.5%, as worries about violence in Libya and turmoil in the Middle East caused the market to fall three days out of five. It was the second week in three that the major indexes fell back.

Crude oil settled down $1.54 to $101.16 a barrel after briefly dipping to $99. It was trading at $100.67 after hours. Brent crude was off $1.73 to $113.41 a barrel. Two reasons appeared to power the declines: Japan's immediate oil needs may be lower because of the earthquake, and scheduled protests in Saudi Arabia today apparently caused few disruptions and won't affect Saudi oil production.

Gold settled up $9.30 to $1,421.80 an ounce. Copper, wheat, corn and cotton continued sell-offs that started earlier this week. Corn was off for the sixth straight day; wheat is down for the fifth day in a tow.

Article continues below.

Interest rates were up slightly, with the 10-year Treasury yield at 3.408%, up from Thursday's 3.393%.
Japanese stocks drop after earthquake
American depositary receipts of Japanese companies were mostly lower. Toyota Motor (TM) was down 2.1% to $85.65. Honda Motor (HMC) dropped 2.4% to $39.74. Sony (SNE) was off 2.4% to $33.45. Electronics manufacturer Hitachi (HIT) fell 2.2% to $59.12.

The  8.9 earthquake -- the fifth-largest on record -- rocked Japan on Friday afternoon, causing a 13-foot tsunami. Several hundred people were reported dead, and aftershocks continued to be felt in Tokyo, where 4 million people were without electricity.

Japanese authorities evacuated thousands of residents from an area around the Fukushima nuclear reactor northeast of Tokyo because the quake raised fears of a radiation leak. Officials, however, said there was no sign of leakage at present. The United States rushed coolant to the plant.

Markets for the week



% chg.

YTD chg.
Dow industrials




S&P 500








Russell 2000




Crude oil 




(per barrel)




U.S. Dollar Index 




10-yr. Treasury








(per troy ounce)

Energy and metals shares lead market
Energy shares were higher despite oil's drop today. Exxon Mobil (XOM) was up 0.9% to $82.12. Chevron (CVX) added 0.9% to $99.93. Refiners Tesoro (TSO), up 8.5% to $24.51,  and Valero (VLO), up 6.3% to $27.98, were the top and and third-best performers among S&P 500 stocks. Both would see better profits if oil prices fell.

And metals stocks also moved higher. Alcoa (AA) was up 1.5% to $16.03. Steel Dynamics (STLD) rose 3.9% to $18.55. The company forecast first-quarter earnings may be as high as 42 cents a share, compared with the Street estimate of 38 cents. Other steelmakers rallied. AK Steel (AKS) jumped 5.8% to $15.46. U.S. Steel (X) gained 4.5% to $55.14. 

Energy prices -- New York close
 Fri.  Thur.

Month chg.

YTD chg.
Crude oil 

$101.16  $102.70  4.32%  10.70%
(per barrel)




Heating oil

$3.0290  $3.0449  2.88%  19.08%
(per gallon)




Natural gas 

$3.8890  $3.8300  -3.93%  -11.71%
(per mil. BTU)




Unleaded gasoline




(per gallon)




Brent crude

$113.84  $115.14  1.82%  20.15%
(per barrel)

Retail gasoline




(per gallon; AAA)

3M, Caterpillar lead the Dow

Twenty-five of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, led by 3M (MMM), Caterpillar (CAT) and Alcoa. All were up better than 1.5%. The laggards were Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T (T), off 1.5% to $35.85 and 0.5% to $28.46, respectively.

Transportation stocks, especially those of airlines, were higher as crude oil moved lower. American Airlines parent AMR (AMR) was up 1.2% to $6.61. JetBlue Airways (JBLU) rose 1.3% to $6.08.

Sixty-two Nasdaq-100 ($NDX.X) stocks were higher, led by Amgen (AMGN), up 3.3% to $53.53. The index was up 19 points to 2,302. Apple (AAPL), up 1.5% to $351.99, contributed nearly 7 points of the index's gain. Sales of the iPad 2 began today.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close
 Fri.  Thur.

Month chg.

YTD chg.
Treasury yields


13-week Treasury bill




5-year Treasury note 




10-year Treasury note




30-year Treasury bond





U.S. Dollar Index




British pound




(in U.S. $)

U.S. $ in pounds




Euro in dollars




(in U.S. $)

U.S. $ in euros

€ 0.719

€ 0.724


U.S. $ in yen 




U.S. $ in Chinese





Canada dollar




(in U.S. $)

U.S. dollar 




(in Canadian $)









(per troy ounce)







(per pound)





(per troy ounce)





(per bushel)





(per bushel)


$2.0494  $1.9123  -0.10%  41.52%
(per pound)

Crude oil 




(per barrel)

Mar 11, 2011 3:24PM
You might as well put a trollface picture, Charley.

This daily report of reporting why stocks are performing as so is a joke.
Mar 11, 2011 5:05PM
Yesterday was a complete aberration, nothing justifies it, manipulators had a ball...Today was another disappointing day; yes, we were up but, these scumbags did it again...We were up over 100 with 30 minutes to go, then at 1548 hrs they called for a selloff so, down we went....When these scumbags are in control of the floor there is very little anyone can do....Cheating and stealing is their game....The SEC opts to ignore the whole thing so these dirt bags know they can and will get away with it...Its just sad. Oh well, we will see what next week brings us, have a great weekend all.
Mar 11, 2011 4:25PM

If you listen to anything said by the bailout boys on Wall Street, then you deserve to be fleeced.

Follow the completely ignorant and incompetent and you make your own bed.

Mar 11, 2011 5:48PM
I agree Wall street has no morals or respect for anything---especially the middle class Americans they keep robbing from legally. They robbed the pension funds now middle class workers must pay more into it from the missing billions Wall street took..401k's same thing legally stealing from Americans but if you try to take your own money from the 401k-pension you are penalized for it----scam--Wall street raiders at it again...
Mar 11, 2011 6:09PM
Earthquakes, riots, political insurrection means nothing to central planning. Proven once again. The boyz would have pumped it up 250 if that pesky earthquake hadn't knocked them a bit off stride. Market is a monumental joke. The rumor mill projects QE3 right on schedule....Fed and the ECB have no alternative but to keep printing or the Ponzis collapse.
Mar 11, 2011 4:01PM
Happy because Earthquake means they (Japan) won't need as much oil until they rebuild? Or happy because that means work for China to pick up the slack?  Ride the rollercoaster until it comes off the rails.
Mar 11, 2011 3:28PM

as proven time after time things start off high but end in a thud........the market is reversing as oil is going up as is now that the latest news has spun it's self out the marketeers turn their eyes back to the middle east!

Mar 11, 2011 6:50PM
Didn't want to break below that 12,000 support level;  Berenake has to  keep up that psychological 12,000 to stimulate the economy ( Wall Street ).  These small corrections of the last few days are just a warm up for the the big 20% correction about to come.   Also look for the commodity bubble to burst, especially oil before it is all over.  Sure it may go to $160 before it happens but the bubble will pop.  Speculators tried this in 2008 and look what happened, oil went to $39 a barrel.   There is no increase in demand, the population didn't double over night and companies didn't ramp up manufacturing. 
Mar 11, 2011 3:29PM

he's smiling because he is not either of you two clowns.



Mar 11, 2011 7:32PM

RIght wing trash is why it went up---corporations knowing the red-commie--conservatives are sheep and will do exactly what the corporations want then the 30% of sheeple will agree to that- Why does the  right wing  vote against their own economic interests to ??????? look cool ??? no could not be that---the pastor told them too ???? I really do not get the foolishness that goes on.

1.commie yes they want government to dictate everything to the individual---women's issues for one, what religion to have, no worker rights, yes sounds like Red China no Red U.S republicans...but give billions to corporations for ???? to have more cash than they have now---The most on record  thanks to stealing it from the middle class---

Mar 11, 2011 11:12PM
NEWSFLASH:  This just in, oil prices soar on the New York market on worries that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will disrupt Japanese oil production.  Experts say that the 2 barrels of oil Japan produces a day will have dire consequences on oil supplies world wide. 

In other news, Oil companies and commodities speculators are reporting record profits for the last quarter.  Inside sources report that oil company execs believe that as long as they can spin every bad news story as a reason to increase prices, whether that news event actually affects oil supplies or not, they can keep making those record profits.

Mar 11, 2011 6:47PM

ALL of you have missed the real reason the market went up. 


Its because we have a great President who is in touch with all of America's problems and is willing to move swiftly to protect us (as well as move us wonderfully into the future).


NOT !!!

Mar 11, 2011 7:52PM
the article should have read "THe Wall Street Gambling addicts could'nt pull themselves away even in a catastrophic event"'s investor slime balls resorted to their usual 'morning lure' by buying volume only to sell off by days end once the 'chumps and suckers' followed suit.
Mar 11, 2011 6:58PM
So flipping's all your money hungry people that are pissing off mother nature....
Mar 15, 2011 10:20AM
Stocks of all non-Japanese companies are where the largest gains are. BTW, if you own a Japanese-made car, trade it in for an American car. In a few weeks from now, it will be worthless.
Mar 11, 2011 9:20PM
If SEC were to blow whistle on Wall St manipulation it destroy all the markets and collapse them and it would take it's toll world wide. This has been going on for years then supposed watch dogs would come into question and.... Then riots in the streets would erupt here Madoff's ponzi would be childs play. Where did you think he got his ideas and honed his skills. He was was respected on Wall St. Chairman of the Nasdaq. Back to riots in streets then REX84.
Mar 11, 2011 9:01PM
The big effect on markets will come Monday the #2 Japanse financial firm said Friday morning on NPR radio that the quake hit a half hour before market close. This is a enormous diaster. It will take years to clean and restore. I do find it hard to believe it didn't effect our markets more we closed up? I believe that  there is market manipulation. It looks good when we profit in someone else's misfortune. What about all the debt Japan was going to bankroll for Portugal? They can still afford that?
Mar 11, 2011 5:03PM
Whew, it missed America.

I think I'll get some stock.

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